The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 AD. It was deleted from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI, but its religious observance is still permitted. No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs. By the time a Saint Valentine became linked to romance in the 14th century, distinctions between Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were utterly lost.
There are so many stories and beliefs, but those legends provided no connections whatsoever with sentimental love, appropriate lore has been embroidered in modern times to portray Valentine as a priest who refused an unattested law attributed to Roman Emperor Claudius II, allegedly ordering that young men remain single. The Emperor supposedly did this to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers. The priest Valentine, however, secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young men. When Claudius found out about this, he had Valentine arrested and thrown in jail.
There is an additional modern embellishment to the Golden Legend, provided by American Greetings to History.com, and widely repeated despite having no historical basis whatsoever. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he would have written the first “valentine” card himself, addressed to a young girl variously identified as his beloved, as the jailer’s daughter whom he had befriended and healed, or both. It was a note that read “From your Valentine.”
With this story here is the enjoyable and unbelievable collection of Valentine’s Day Fun Facts:
•Every Valentine’s Day, the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.
• Many believe the ‘X’ symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn’t write their names signed in front of a witness with an ‘X.’ The ‘X’ was then kissed to show their sincerity.
• Girls of medieval times ate bizarre foods on St. Valentine’s Day to make them dream of their future spouse.
• In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”
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Wear your heart on your skin. Set up an appointment for Henna.
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• In 1537, England’s King Henry VII officially declared February 14th the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day.
• About eight billion candy hearts were made last year, the association says-enough to stretch from Rome, Italy, to Valentine, Arizona, and back again 20 times.
• About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged in US each year. That’s the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas.
• Women purchase 85% of all valentines.
• In order of popularity, Valentine’s Day cards are given to teachers, children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.
• Parents receive 1 out of every 5 valentines.
• About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.
• Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are the biggest holidays for giving flowers.
• Worldwide, over 50 million roses are given for Valentine’s Day each year.
• California produces 60 percent of American roses, but the vast number sold on Valentine’s Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America. Approximately 110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period.
• 73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine’s Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.
• Men buy most of the millions of boxes of candy and bouquets of flowers given on Valentine’s Day.
• Richard Cadbury invented the first Valentines Day candy box in the late 1800s.
• Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone, an “Improvement in Telegraphy”, on Valentine’s Day, 1876.
•The oldest surviving love poem till date is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C
•In Medieval times, girls ate unusual foods on St Valentine’s Day to make them dream of their future husband.
Valentine’s Day Superstitions
• It is said that the kind of bird a girl watches on Valentine’s Day predicts her future husband. For instance:
Sparrow: a poor man
Owl: remain spinster
Bluebird: a happy man
Blackbird: a priest or clergyman
Crossbill: an argumentative man
•If an apple is cut in half, the number of seeds found inside the fruit will indicate the number of children that individual will have.
•If you see a squirrel on Valentine’s Day, you will marry a cheapskate who will hoard all your money.
•If you see a goldfinch on Valentine’s Day, you will marry a millionaire.
•If you see a robin on Valentine’s Day, you will marry a crime fighter – maybe they mean Batman!
•If you see a flock of doves on Valentine’s Day, you will have a happy, peaceful marriage.
•If you find a glove on the road on Valentine’s Day, your future beloved will have the other missing glove.
• If an individual thinks of five or six names considered to be suitable marriage partners and twists the stem of an apple while the names are being recited, then it is believed the eventual spouse will be the one whose name was recited at the moment the stem broke.
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